Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Last day for the computer. It's getting all boxed up tonight. *sniff* So, thought I'd share my card with all of you before I am internet-less. :) I plan to be back up and running next week with a couple of weddings (shooting one on Wednesday! Yippeee!) and some families to post about so check back then!



Saturday, December 27, 2008

Our soon-to-be new house


I know you've all been waiting to see it! Ahhhh!! It seriously is finally starting to settle in and it's craziness. We've been packing for the last few days and our house is filling with boxes. It's amazing how much stuff you can fit into a tiny apartment. We're moving on Tuesday and we're getting pretty excited.

As you can tell, we already have our work cut out for us. I took these before it snowed, so luckily our icky yard is covered up until spring. Hooray! The house is mostly move-in ready with a few minor repairs. We have tons of painting, decorating & organizing, not to mention all the yardwork and landscaping (trees, grass, bushes, anyone?) to do so we'll definitely keep busy. Plus, I get to set up my new studio!

I thought I'd share a photobucket album so I didn't have to torture all of you if you're not interested in the grand tour.

New House Photobucket Album

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Studio shots of my cute daughter

My solution to cold weather & wanting to play with my new camera was to convert our living room to a studio and have Rachel model for me. She actually did really well this time. I didn't have to bribe her. Much. I'm so excited to be moving into a house and have space for a studio! Hooray!! I'm booking studio sessions for Feb & March, so if you're interested give me a call or send an email. I have a lot of fun ideas planned!





5D Mark II & Lightroom 2.2

Here are some updates for those that are interested. I had heard rumors that the new RAW format of the 5D Mark II is not compatible with CS3 and that you have to upgrade to CS4 in order to edit pictures. WHAT?! Yeah. Not so happy about that. Turns out that it's true. Camera Raw 5.2 is compatible with the 5D Mark II, but not with CS3. The earlier version of Camera Raw (4.5) that I currently have installed will not open my new RAW files.

The good news: I don't use Camera Raw anymore since I started using Lightroom 2.0. I started using LR because it's so much easier to go through a session, throw out the bad ones, flag the good ones, do basic editing and then export to Photoshop. Seriously saves me so much time. A week and a 1/2 ago when I first starting shooting with my new camera I had to install and use a .dng converter in order for LR to be able to read my image files. LONG process. Definitely not something to add to my workflow long term.

Today, Adobe put out an update (version 2.2) to LR that makes it compatible with the 5D Mark II. Hoooray!! So, now I can download to LR, do all my sorting, RAW editing, export as a .psd to CS3 and I'm good to go. No converting, no upgrading to CS4. Seriously going to save me time & $$$. Always a good thing.

I guess the gist of my post is that if you have a 5D Mark II (or will be getting one in the near future) and don't have the $$ to upgrade your Photoshop software (was going to run me about $600 b/c I had to upgrade the whole suite) consider using Lightroom instead. It's cheaper, and does a fantastic job anyway. Professional version is $300 and we got an educational version through BYU for about $100. (And yes. You can make money using the educational versions. It's all on the up-and-up. I promise. You just have to be a student when you purchase it.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blodgett Family

Stunning. Seriously. I had so much fun these guys, and their little girl was hamming it up in front of the camera. Loved it! I photographed her twin sister a few months ago as well. These two girls were seriously some of my best friends in high school (before then? elementary school?). Thanks you guys! It was a blast.








Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Tree

Okay, so I should be in bed. Couldn't resist. Here's some camera talk for those that are interested.

1/30, f/2.8, ISO 3200 (hand held)

The narrow depth of field in this picture makes it pretty soft (okay, really, soft) but the lack of noise at high ISO's blows me away. My XTi couldn't even touch it. Plus, many more pixels to work with. I'm happy. :) I was looking at pictures I took last year of our tree and I used a tripod, shutter speed of like 1 second and still didn't get anything I really liked so this is a vast improvement.

Post-process on this was a slight levels adjustment, sharpen, Gaussian blur, and Noiseware.

I found out that the Mark II has a new RAW format that is not compatible with CS3. Boo. You have to convert to .DNG before importing into Lightroom or ACR. Rumor is that Adobe will be releasing an update to LR2 sometime in December so hopefully I won't have to upgrade to CS4 as all of my RAW processing is done in LR these days.

The short of it, is that for now I'm shooting a lot in .jpg because I haven't had time to figure out the conversion stuff yet. It's on the menu for tomorrow. We'll see if we have time. I've heard it's pretty straight forward and easy. Sweet.

Christmas came early: Canon 5D Mark II

I don't think I remember being this excited to open a package since I was a kid. I was giddy. Now I just need time to play with it (and read the manual!). I'll update as soon as I've had a chance to seriously play around.




Thursday, December 04, 2008

Our Thanksgiving

We have so much to be grateful for!! Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve all the blessings the Lord bestows upon us (okay, most of the time I feel that way). We were able to take a trip to CA this year to meet up with Sam's family for Turkey Day. It was so relaxing and FUN. I love his family.

The kids woke up in the car (we left at about 4:30am). Good thing sister was around to hand over the toys.

Curren tradition includes a visit to High Tech Burrito & yumma-licious dessert at Ghiradelli Square.

Turkey Day Dinner, of course. Sam's sis-in-law makes AMAZING desserts. "Mom. I need more pie."

We also did this...

LOVE the fog. It's one thing we definitely don't get a lot of in Utah.

Had a lot of this...

Kids had fun doing this...
Rachel loves her cousins. I think this was the first year she really was interested in playing. We stayed with Sam's brother & family and they have 6, 4, and 18 month old boys. So much fun.

Sam's dad does an amazing job building. The have a long narrow property (on a hill) and he's built a playhouse, (currently his office until the big one is done), storage sheds, and is working on a large home office as well. It all looks fantastic! The kids LOVE the fireman's pole. Rachel was so excited that she was able to do it all by herself.

And we did a lot of this... I have so many pictures to edit but it was fun! I took pictures of both Sam's brother's families, as well as Mom & Dad and Dan (who still lives at home). Good times. Can't wait to show you more!